Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Storyjumpers: 7 'Not really arrows'

This is part 7 of a story jumping activity for Digital Writing Month. Bruno started it, followed by Kevin, Maha, Sarah, Ron and Tanya.  Sign up in the Google Doc if you'd like to join in.

As Kevin bit into the cookie, he suddenly felt reality return and the mists in his mind began to clear.  He looked around.  What the hell was he doing in the garden, and why was he eating a random biscuit that he had found on the ground beside him?  He staggered to his feet and headed back inside, only to collapse again in a heap on the sofa.

The events of the past few days had clearly been too much. He was over-tired, hungry and clearly exhausted by his constant sax playing. He was no longer sure about his relationship with Sandy; how on earth had she become so violent?  And this was now layered with confusion about his feelings for Sarah.  She seemed to be the only person who understood his constant need to fix things.  It was about time, he pondered, that he fixed his emotional situation; maybe he should try applying those practical skills to his own personal life.

To distract himself, he took another look at Bruno's map which was lying crumpled on the floor.  He hesitated as he picked it up; the last thing he needed was another out-of-body experience.  As it was, he was starting to feel a little paranoid; he had almost got used to that feeling after realising that he was under constant surveillance from his neighbour, but this was different.  It was as if people around the globe were listening in to his private thoughts and reading his mind as they unfolded. He felt a strange sense that this map would predict his future in some way, and that every event and happening was already out of his control.

Kevin put the map down again without looking at it and walked into the kitchen.  He needed to eat and sleep, and shake off these strange ideas before he really lost the plot.  But the compulsion to look at the map was almost unbearable, as if time was running out. Surely a little peek wouldn't hurt?  He poured a glass of water and studied it from a distance.  Even in the dim light he could make out a number of arrows.   This time, he decided, he would do it properly.  Opening his tool-box he took out a magnifying glass, some plastic gloves, tracing paper and a pencil.  He rested the map on the table directly under the anglepoise lamp and put on his glasses.  Safe within the familiar trappings of his usual 'fix-it' mode, he started to feel calmer and in control.  How weird could this be?

The letters at the top of the map were clear; whatever had smudged the letters hadn't reached this part. It was a date; 30 November, 2015. Only a few weeks away! Kevin wondered if this could account for his deep-rooted sense of urgency.  He hurriedly moved down the map to the part which was worn and water-marked, and much harder to make out.  Perhaps the arrows would provide a clue.

But as soon as the magnifying glass was in place he realised his mistake.  He'd been looking at the map upside down and as a result had completely misinterpreted the symbols.  What he thought were arrows were in fact something entirely different, and much more sinister.  They were...

[to be continued... by Ron @ronsamul)

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